Analysts Expect Westlake Chemical Co. (WLK) to Post $1.78 EPS

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Equities analysts expect Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) to post earnings of $1.78 per share for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Three analysts have made estimates for Westlake Chemical’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.51 to $2.02. Westlake Chemical posted earnings of $1.62 per share in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 9.9%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next earnings report on Tuesday, February 19th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will report full-year earnings of $8.60 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $8.46 to $8.78. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the business will report earnings of $8.49 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $7.92 to $9.20. Zacks’ EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for Westlake Chemical.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 6th. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.24 by $0.11. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 19.75% and a net margin of 19.36%. The firm had revenue of $2.26 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.61 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. MED reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $135.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Tuesday, September 4th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their target price on Westlake Chemical from $120.00 to $105.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 29th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “positive” rating and issued a $81.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Thursday, November 15th. Nomura lowered their target price on Westlake Chemical from $100.00 to $92.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 15th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $109.76.

In related news, CEO Albert Chao sold 40,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.47, for a total transaction of $2,938,800.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 321,374 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,611,347.78. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 72.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $130,000. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $157,000. One Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $160,000. Twin Tree Management LP purchased a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $181,000. Finally, Korea Investment CORP purchased a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $194,000. Institutional investors own 29.72% of the company’s stock.

WLK stock traded down $1.91 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $68.37. 891,201 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 725,468. The company has a quick ratio of 1.59, a current ratio of 2.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44. Westlake Chemical has a 12 month low of $66.91 and a 12 month high of $124.29. The firm has a market cap of $9.08 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.66 and a beta of 1.59.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 11th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 27th will be issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 26th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.46%. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is presently 18.28%.

About Westlake Chemical

Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products primarily in North America and Europe. It operates through two segments, Olefins and Vinyls. The Olefins segment offers polyethylene, styrene monomers, and various ethylene co-products, as well as sells propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen products.

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